Last night, we decided to take a boat ride to dinner at the Raven, a nearby restaurant on the lake. Dinner would be followed by a sunset (or moonlit) cruise home. We packed a few snacks and drinks because experience has shown us that there might not be a parking place for the boat, but if we have provisions we can just roll with it.
Our little dog, Wilson, really wanted to come, but the lake was a little rough and we weren’t in the mood to deal with his boat antics. He has a penchant for hanging over the front edge like a hood ornament and when the lake is choppy he could fly out of the boat in a second. He was determined to go however, and stood on the sidewalk with his ears and stubby tail plastered down looking like he was going to cry. He even ignored the bacon concession I offered, convincing us that he really needed to come along. We relented (of course) because we’re total pushovers and he knows it.
The boat launch in town was practically desterted because of the strong breeze, but we were not worried. We have a 1966 Boston Whaler – a beloved jalopy of a boat- which is unsinkable. It’s not a particularly smooth ride in choppy water, but we just stand up, hold on and grin at the sheer fun of the wind in our hair and the bouncing ride.
We arrived at the Raven and found the dinner crowd had thinned nicely . . . the best parking spot was about to be free. Unfortunately, the water was still fairly bouncy so Wilson was not very happy about staying in the boat while we wandered up to the deck to eat.
After about a half hour, he got out of the boat and stood on the dock with the same “can’t you see how much this means to me?” look . . . so he got his way and rested in his own chair on a beach towel while we had margaritas and dinner.
The food was pretty good – this is a restaurant we go to for the views and ambience, so the food comes second. I had steamer clams in a white wine broth and Dana had fish tacos. We both had a margarita and watched the sunset then oohed and ahhed at the fingernail moon and the glittery line of moonlight reflecting off the lake. We saw a good friend and shared drinks, laughs and hugs. We donned our sweatshirts and cast off for the adventure home. The moonlight provided just enough light to navigate clearly for the trip back to the launch.
As we boated up the lake, we smelled the sweet smoke of a campfire and then spotted it near the shoreline. When we passed the dude ranch, we caught little whiffs of the horse stables. This told me we were almost home. Since the tourist season has ended and the hour was late, it was quiet and the water like glass. When we pulled in, I jumped off onto the dock and steadied the boat for Dana and Wilson to hop out. We’d gotten a parking place right beside the launch, so in a few short minutes Dana was backing the trailer into the lake. With practiced teamwork we got the boat out, strapped it down and arrived at home in a wink. It was a lovely summer date!